Highlights of 100 blog posts

You know when a successful television programme gets a little long in the tooth they usually have a show featuring only clips from previous episodes?

It’s called a clip show, and it’s usually framed in some really corny way. Characters break the fourth wall, suddenly the show is hosted by someone you’ve never seen before or, best of all, the characters on the show all sit around and simply reminisce.

The Simpsons did it, as did Friends, Seinfeld and Cheers before them.

Now Man vs World is about to join those illustrious ranks.

Drinking fruit wine in the ocean in Nha Trang, Vietnam

It feels like only yesterday it was 30 January 2012 and I put up my first ever blog post – the rather pithily named Traveller’s paradise: 5 fun things to do in San Francisco – and you weren’t here to see it.

No-one saw it then and it still gets little love now. I had no idea what I was doing back then (you might notice it’s written in a slightly different font to the one you read now – I must fix that one day).

Still, it wasn’t nearly as esoteric as my second ever travel blog post A guide to London’s Waitangi Day pub crawl.

My third blog post, however, was when I started to see a little bit of traffic for the first time – and I even got my first comment.

Brisbane's Streets Beach

Australia’s safest beach was a look at Brisbane’s famous man-made beach and a person named Deborah commented on it. I was so excited! I must have had a total of nine hits that day.

It wasn’t until nearly a month later that I had 20 hits in one day, which soon became 40 when I did an interview over at No Place To Be in March, and then 70 when I wrote about Songkran in Chiang Mai a month later.

I broke the 100-hit mark for the first time at the end of May, when I had 150 readers stop by in a single day for the still very popular 10 useful resources for travel bloggers.

Soon after, my announcement about getting engaged in Bali was equally successful on its first day. That was a fun one to write; most of my friends found out about the engagement through that story.

In fact, it was only at my fiancé’s insistence that my parents didn’t first hear the happy news through my blog.

Happy couple of travelers on Kuta Beach, Bali

Of course, when I was starting my blog I was also starting out on Twitter, too. In those days my travel blog’s success was so closely linked with what I did on Twitter that the more followers I had, the more traffic I’d have on my travel blog.

In fact, the number of people visiting my blog via Google only really started to outstrip my number of Twiiter referrals when I wrote a handy guide to Wimbledon and then Hyde Park London Live – two topical posts that surprised me by their success.

The latter, in particular, went absolutely crazy. And it’s still in my top ten for traffic, although it’s tapered off completely since the end of the Olympics (no surprises there).

But the value of Twitter cannot be overstated. One only needs look at my most popular blog post: the 30 nicest people to follow on Twitter.

Angkor Wat at sun rise in all its glory

But the blog post I’m most proud of would have to be my second most popular, the ultimate showdown between Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

I have no idea what I must have been drinking when I came up with the idea, but it turns out a fictional boxing match in which the three Southeast Asian countries do battle turned out to be a pretty good one.

It was hard work trying to write as a boxing commentator – but the most difficult blog post I’ve written remains my take on Choeung Ek’s killing fields in Cambodia.

Just try and put the horrors committed at that horrible place into words.

One day I’ll have to do the same when I finally build up the courage to write about S-21, the Khmer prison now known as the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.

The view from our hotel on the Amalfi Coast, Italy

On a much happier subject, the award for most ridiculous blog post goes to my attempt at Spanish acrostic poetry.

But you may be surprised how much traffic I get from it; people really do Google the strangest things – as I highlighted in another recent blog post.

And that, my friends, brings us to within a week or two of this one: blog post number 100.

Thank you for joining me on my journey. Here’s to another hundred blog posts!

About Simon Petersen 506 Articles
Travel blogger, journalist, sports and movie fiend. Chronicling the life and times of a Kiwi at home and abroad.


    • Thanks, Susan – it’s much easier than it was. But I’m always searching for the perfect blogging formula, one that brings the punters in via social media and Google.

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